Yesterday we covered a story on recent Foxconn suicides. The company where iPad, iPod touch and iPhone are being manufactured. Foxconn factory in China currently employs more than 400,000 workers and has been in the news as more than 13 employees have tried to commit suicide.
We have been reading stories and comments which state that this rate of suicide is actually better or lower than the average rate in China or US. However, I think most have missed two important details. These suicides have been committed in a short period of time and most have been attempted in the same fashion i.e jumping from a building roof.
One can’t just write off this story based on statistical data which proves that the rate of suicides is normal or below normal. We have read about previous suicides at Foxconn and the fact that these continue to rise is enough to question the corporations and investigate why the labor issues have not been resolved.
Apple recently issued a statement:
We are saddened and upset by the recent suicides at Foxconn. Apple is deeply committed to ensuring that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity. We are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and we believe they are taking this matter very seriously.
It is a well known fact that working conditions and salary offered to Foxconn employees are certainly two areas which have not seen much improvement. The recent news coverage about Foxconn suicides has however lead the management take the first step in the right direction. The management has decided to raise workers’ salaries by about 20 percent. According to an employee at Foxconn this might resolve some issues:
It may help the suicide situation, because we workers just need money and the financial pressure on us is great,
We hope that the raise in salary improves the current situation and companies like Apple, Dell and HP help the management in taking the right decisions.